YUI: It holds the meaning of ‘how much is your affection’. I used the word ‘LOVE’ in the title, but I wanted it to mean a big ‘emotion’. Like support or a guideline for life… In a broad sense, I think it turned out to be an album that asks, 'What are your emotions?' By using ‘LOVE’, I felt that it was the best way to deliver these feelings in simplest form.
Interviewer: What kinds of emotions were stirred when you wrote these songs?
YUI: When I made my debut, there was a time when I only sang for myself. Now, I have the opportunity to meet many people, and by remembering those peoples’ faces, all kinds of feelings surface. I write songs while thinking, ‘I want them to smile’ or ‘I want them to do their best tomorrow’.
Interviewer: Various emotions are expressed in your songs; it’s hard to believe that one woman wrote them.
YUI: Thank you. As one being, I have these feelings and emotions… What I hate, I hate; and what I like, I like. I want to be able to express them properly. I wanted to bring out that breadth and waves of emotion. I usually write what I feel directly. I’m happy when people tell me they can relate to those things. That is why I want to have a communication where I can ask the listeners, “How do you feel?” So I chose to put “Green a.live” at the end of the album, since it’s a song that contains many questions. Although I sing calmly in the song, the wave of emotion is so big.
Interviewer: It’s a song that was written after you visited the disaster-stricken areas right?
YUI: Yes. There are a lot of question marks, but it’s a song with many factors. It was hard to put them into words because I wanted to make it carefully. Also, when I finished the song, I was able to think, “This is me right now”. There are a lot of emotions within me that I haven’t unraveled yet. So I realized that I have to face it, instead of putting an end to it.
Interviewer: Other than “Green a.live”, how did you figure out the order of songs?
YUI: With every work, I make the order of songs with variation… rock songs then acoustic songs; like that, I make efforts to create ups and downs so people won’t get tired of it. When I make a rock song, it’s strange, but I want to make an acoustic song afterwards. This album has many new attempts, but I worked hard to make it balanced. Tthe song I wrote while wanting to change the scene is “Good Night”. At first, it was a song you could hum to but as I was making it, I became greedy. In the end, I recorded it properly and added a chorus to it.
Interviewer: To be specific, what are ‘new attempts’?
YUI: For example, “Separation” has a funky rhythm, something I’ve never tried before. I made it while imagining bits and pieces of rhythm quickly being added into the song… Although I was told, "That’s not a funk rhythm", I feel I was able to bring out a groovy effect. Then, I thought it would be fun to add painful lyrics, and started writing. I wrote “Lock On” as the theme song for “Kaito Royale”, so I made the song with the theme of ‘thrill’. Since the drama is set in a world of treasure stealing, I wanted it to have a kind yet fun outlook on the world. To make it even more thrilling, I changed the key during the middle, but it was difficult. When I first received the offer to write the theme song, there was no script, so I read the draft. I knew a little about it through games and CMs, which helped me to create an image of the drama.
Interviewer: The music video is also thrilling.
YUI: It was a fun experience to run around here and there. I was exposed to many new things, such as dressing up as a casino dealer. It’s fun to take a look into a world you don’t know. I had a real dealer teach me the behavior, and was told that I couldn’t even smile. I thought it would be impossible for me.
Interviewer: You challenged yourself to simple triple (three beats in each measure) in “Cooking”.
YUI: Ever since my debut, I always wanted to make a song with simple triple. But back then, I couldn’t operate a computer that well, and I wasn’t able to step record… Now, I’ve become accustomed to a computer so I typed in the drums myself, then created the melody. It was by feel, but I had fun. The song had a warm feel to it, so I think the kind lyrics accompanies the song's outlook. I felt that every girl has the feeling of wanting to make food for the person they love, so I sang the song while imagining I was near that person.
Interviewer: YUI-san’s tone of voice is gentle, so I felt that atmosphere.
YUI: Thank you. I’m usually gentle… I’m lying. “Get Back Home” sounds like I mixed more sighs than usual. It could be a song to myself saying, "You had a bad day, but let’s be thankful to the people around you".
Interviewer: What kind of message do you want to deliver through this album?
YUI: I challenged myself to all kinds of new things in the album, so it would be nice if people who listen to it are able to think, “Let’s try something new”. I want it to become a strength for people to move forward. I continue to make music exactly like the days when I first moved to Tokyo. The excitement when I listen to music has never changed. As the sender, that is what I want to deliver. Tell them, "I'm doing it so freely!" Freedom could be something you can do at ease at a limited extent. It's different from being able to do as I please, but I want to become a person who can tell people that I'm doing it freely. Although to be honest, I actually like doing as I please.
Interviewer: Your nationwide tour will start soon.
YUI: The album jacket was shot on Hikawa Maru (ocean liner) in Yokohama, but it was also taken in the image of the tour. I want to create a place where people can relax and enjoy.
Interviewer: In June, you held your first overseas live in Hong Kong, and in September, you held a street live in Shanghai. Have your thoughts on the live concerts upgraded?
YUI: The minute I stepped on stage in Hong Kong, my heart was about to break by seeing the amount of people. However, during the street live, I felt alive. Lives aren't about 'you against the audience', but , 'you and I'. So I was able to sing while thinking, "I am singing to you alone." I hope to sing again somewhere else. For this upcoming tour, I’m going to places I haven’t gone before, so I’m looking forward to the beautiful scenery and the delicious food. Also, meeting new people.